Table 3

Categorisation of Twitter users who posted two or more original tweets using #COP8FCTC (ie, which we refer to as the ‘most active’ Twitter users)

User categoryDefinition/inclusionsSample of users, n (%)Original tweets posted, n (%)Retweets, n (%)Anonymous users*
Tobacco industry actor
  • Official account of a tobacco product manufacturer.

  • A current or recent employee of a tobacco manufacturer.

  • A third-party organisation that receives direct tobacco industry funding (and is either sole or part funded by the industry) or an employee of such an organisation.

27 (18)226 (19)1126 (22)0 (/20)
NGP industry actor
  • Official account of an NGP retailer or manufacturer.

  • Individuals writing for NGP advertising platforms and social media promoters of NGP.

8 (5)166 (14)494 (10)0 (/8)
NGP advocate
  • Individuals and organisations whose accounts are primarily and purposefully advocating the use of NGP, a liberal regulatory environment for NGP and/ or tobacco harm reduction generally (but which are not promoting specific products).

50 (33)467 (38)2189 (42)21 (/41)
Public health advocate
  • Account of a public health organisation, an individual affiliated with such an organisation or an individual in a public health or civil service role who is independent of the tobacco and NGP industries.

43 (28)285 (23)1030 (20)0 (/21)
Member of public
  • An account that appears to be of a person whose profile and tweets reflect their individual thoughts and interests and whose primary post content is not about NGP.

  • They do not appear to be an active NGP proponent, for example, their Twitter activity relating to NGP was time limited around COP8, or any posts about NGP are not typically political in nature (eg, photos of their equipment).

14 (9)36 (3)193 (4)4 (/14)
  • Journalist or news outlets writing without a specific health mandate† (n=3).

  • Accounts that appeared to be ‘bots’ (n=3).

  • Account suspended or deleted since posting with #COP8FCTC (n=4).

10 (7)39 (3)150 (3)2 (/5)
Total 152 1219 5182 27 (/109)
  • In this table, retweets indicate the extent to which the 1219 original tweets posted by the 152 ‘most active’ Twitter users were retweeted, according to the category of the user who posted the original tweet.

  • *Anonymous accounts relate only to individual accounts (denominator shown in brackets), since organisational accounts were not anonymous.

  • †News organisations and journalists that did work within a global health or public health mandate were coded as ‘Public health actor’ (eg, CNS Health;

  • NGP, next-generation product.